Day 390: Might As Well

{Disclaimer: I wrote most of this on Sunday… but never got around to finishing it.}

Oh my… the words “might as well” are like the kiss of death for someone who struggles with gluttony.

Well, I already ate a few Oreos, so I might as well eat the whole bag.
I broke my diet this morning, so I might as well eat an entire bag of chips.
I ate the rest of my leftover hamburger from last night, so I might as well eat some pizza too.

Yeah… that last one… that was me… today.

You see, I had my first “birthday party” celebration night on Saturday night. My husband’s birthday is… oh, well, it’s tomorrow! {Happy Birthday my love!} And so we went out with some friends to BJ’s Brewhouse to celebrate (and then we were going to go to Top Golf to hang out and play there, but the wait was FOUR. HOURS. LONG.) and since it was a birthday PARTY, I was “allowed” to eat whatever. I thought I did pretty good… I ate some chips, had half of a hamburger (yummmmm) and half of my fries, and had a couple glasses of wine.

I felt GREAT! I mean… I had not busted out into gluttony. It was just as I hoped it would be.

And thennnnnnnnnn, came today.

You see, we got the boys and the babysitter cheese pizzas while we were gone, and gosh darnit, but those dadgum pizzas slices looked and smelled amazing. And I thought about them, and thought about them, and thought about them… this morning and then again when I got home from church.

So, instead of eating the pizzas, I ate the other half of the hamburger leftovers. Honestly, I think this was my downfall even more than the eventual pizza “incident” cause I ate what I WASN’T craving. I wanted that pizza. All I really wanted was that pizza, but instead I chose to eat the hamburger because it could kinda be justified in my mind as “okay” since I had gotten it at the birthday party the night before. But the pizza… well, it was just off limits all around, and I knew it.

So, I ate the other half of my hamburger.

And THEN I ate a piece of pizza.

Because,  you know, I might as well since I had already broken the covenant by having that hamburger.

Honestly, I only ate one piece of pizza because I felt I had to sneak eat it, and then I went to put my sons down for their naps and while I was doing that my husband ate all the rest of the pizza. My plan was foiled. But I was sorta glad because then it took the opportunity away from me.

But what I want to focus in on is the “might as well” syndrome. Cause I’m purty dern sure the that “might as well” syndrome is what takes someone from being just a food addict to being a glutton… that is probably really overweight like I was. Because this phrase is what gives us “permission” to break from our diet, or covenant, or healthy lifestyle.

But WHY?

I… don’t know why actually! Haha! But I know that it is… it is a get out of jail free card, only it is exactly what puts us IN JAIL. This phrase overrides our good decision making and puts us back under the control of our body’s desires to eat whatever we want, as much as we want, whenever we want.

And honestly, I have no new fancy scriptures on my heart that tie to this. I obviously didn’t have anything that dissuaded me from breaking my covenant. And I don’t mind admitting that I’m feeling a bit defeated. It’s like I have had God’s power in my hand for a year, and now it’s… just gone. It’s like I lost it in my miscellaneous junk drawer and can’t find it. And even worse, I don’t really feel like digging for it. I’d rather just… sin.

Just keeping it real. Sorry to be Debbie Downer, but hopefully over the next few days and weeks I’ll work through this and then if you hit this spot too then it’ll help you work through it as well!

Cause one thing I know… there is HOPE. There is always HOPE.

Day 358: First Donuts… For Real

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This morning I woke up before everyone else and (honestly) my first thought was: Donut Day!

I had planned on keeping today as a “Celebration Day” of no restrictions even though it wasn’t a birthday party, national holiday, or full moon. It was more of a Celebration Day for the past year.

Only as I started to think about it… having a hamburger, maybe some cake or ice cream, a pepperoni pizza for dinner… I realized, that I actually didn’t even want those things today.

Well, wait… I wanted them but I more so wanted to keep my jeans fitting. And I realized that I would have plenty more opportunities for all of those things… so it wasn’t so vital for me to have them today. I have certainly learned over the past year that cravings come and go. That I don’t have to give in to them. That I can just eat to live.

But…… I still wanted that donut.

There were several donuts leftover from the bunch that my father-in-law brought over yesterday (see my post Day 357: First Donuts for that story), and there was a half of one of them that is my favorite: a chocolate covered “tractor wheel”, as we call it (I think our donut shop labels them as sour cream).

And so I didn’t wake anyone up… cause I was remembering my cookie dough incident that I wrote about on Day Twenty-One… this whole thing started with just me and God. alone. Well… I guess it was me and God and a huge vat of cookie dough. Anyway, I just thought it was appropriate that it be just me and God and the sugar once again.

And it was a beautiful experience… eating that half-donut. And not because it was so amazingly good (although it WAS good), but because of the celebration in my heart and the thanks to God for bringing me to this point… to the point where eating a donut was a big deal instead of just another regular ol’ day of gluttony.

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And after I finished the donut… it was just… over. I poured myself a cup of coffee and went on my way with the day. I never even thought about the fact that there was still another donut.

This is a big. deal.

For yearsssssss I would have obsessed over that donut until I would have just given in and eaten it. And today I ignored it as if it weren’t even there.

Cause it might as well have not been there. I had already decided that I was only going to have half and that God would find honor and joy in the fact that I didn’t HAVE TO have the food just because I COULD.

How far He has brought me.

I suppose I have learned a bit from God and He has renewed me enough this year to know that it would be foolish to return to the same habits.

But more importantly, this is something I have to say only God could do for me. You see, I “knew” all of this before in my mind. I “knew” I shouldn’t overeat. I “knew” I shouldn’t eat pounds of sugar. I “knew” I shouldn’t eat when I wasn’t hungry. I “knew” I shouldn’t eat what I wasn’t craving.

But it took God to renew my heart so that it wasn’t just my mind that knew those things but also my heart and soul.

Now, I truly know

And it was His wisdom that kept me from being a fool today…

    As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness. Proverbs 26:11

Day 217: Practice Makes Perfect

Day 14 of my hard-core Daniel Fast.

I’m not sure how I survived this for forty-six days during Lent. Geez. All I want is a tortilla and some feta cheese and my life would be great.

So funny how starting this whole thing in January I was probably thinking “All I want is a Reese’s peanut butter cup and my life would be great.” ha! How things have changed.

But actually I think the temptations are harder on a short-term fast because you know that you’ll get that stuff again… and soon. When I started my covenant so many months ago, the lust for chocolate and sugar quickly died off and stayed away for quite a while because the day when I would once again get to have those things was sooooooooo far away it was pointless to even dream about eating it after a while.

But now that I’m pretty much just one week away from a feta topped salad, or a cheese pizza, or a fish taco… well, it makes the wanting of it stronger. But that’s a good thing on a fast. To want something but not be able to have it. It creates a tension in me… a tension that brings my struggle to light. A struggle between the light and the dark.

What it does is make me practice over and over the act of choosing God. relying upon God. feasting upon the things of the Spirit.

And hopefully three weeks of “practicing” that will carry over past those three weeks. So that for another three weeks I’m still just in the habit of choosing God over my own desires and wants.

Day 125: Uh Oh…

Haha – well, I knew what I wanted to title this already but I just sorta started to think that someone might look at just the title in their inbox and think, “Oh, poor January, she musta broken her covenant again. Bless her heart.” (Which, I’m a southern woman… “Bless her heart” never means that for real, it means, “Oh thank heavens someone has messed up so I can feel better about myself!” haha)

But, it’s not so much about that at all (Thank Ya Jesus!) but about a friend of mine that called a couple of days ago (whom I have yet to call back because I’m a crazy woman with crazy kids that can’t seem to be quiet long enough for me to make a phone call and when they are sleeping, I have to be quiet so that they can sleep, y’all know the drill… even if you don’t have kids then you probably have some crazy sister-in-law or cousin who has young kids… we tend to be pretty crazy protective of the nap time!!!). She recently started the covenant and called saying that she was a little freaked out because she had gained four pounds.

So I’m going to write my friend Rhonda a post in response to her call… sorta kill two birds with one stone, ya know? Plus, I had another friend, Christy, who had the exact same thing happen to her.

First of all, I don’t know! haha! I had no idea that I would lose weight myself so quickly. I had no idea if I would lose weight at all… I just hoped that I would.

GET OFF TOSS THE SCALE: So, really, my first thing would be to say that it cannot be about the weight. If I have learned anything through this process, it is to not weigh. Allow your clothes not fitting to be your only guide if you have to have a guide… as difficult as that may be. We just need to forget all of this weight stuff… these arbitrary numbers. This body of ours that God has designed is infinitely complex and it responds to eating, not eating, changing diets, etc. exactly as it should. So, if you know that you are eating foods that honor God and only eating until you are satisfied/no longer hungry, then just turn your focus to Him. Which leads me to my next point…

FOCUS ON HIM: I think that the best part of the covenant so far as been how much it has forced me to read the Word of God. I mean, like I have said, I have been reading through the bible since October but this has taken it to a whole new level because I am relying on the Word to save me (in a non-get-salvation-go-to-heaven kind of way, of course). When I need some of those things that I turned to food for before (comfort, entertainment, relief, relaxation, etc), now I turn to the Word (well, at least 95% of the time – haha… okay, okay, 92% of the time). And it has been so awesome to see Him sustain me with just the Word. It truly is POWER and it keeps me from overeating or eating when I’m not hungry or eating what I have agreed not to eat… which leads me to my next point as well…

WHAT’S THE PROB: I think it’s important to take a real-honest-to-God look at myself every once in a while and evaluate the way I eat and decide if I think it honors God or not. Most of the time… well, actually, so far… All of the time that I have been gaining or not losing it has been because:

  • I was overeating (eating when I’m not hungry for some “other” reason that wasn’t hunger and/or eating when I am already full) or because
  • I was eating too many processed or “easy” foods (i.e. bread, tortillas, peanuts, cheese) instead of foods that would really honor God because they are beneficial for my body (i.e. fruits and vegetables).

In fact, this has been really good for me to write about because I have been going through a similar “Why am I not losing?” kind of phase. I think that knocking out the bread and chips will help me out in that area because they were becoming an all-too-frequent “go to” but I also think that I’m going to come up with a new rule for myself… if I am hungry and it’s not a meal (like it’s snack time) then I can eat fruit. I still don’t tend to “default” to fruit even though it completely rox my sox and I really have gotten to the point where I love it…

  1. I just need to have it around all the time so I need to be more diligent about getting to the store… the same way I am about whole milk for my toddler I need to be about fruit for me… if we are out then I need to get my bootie to the store and load up, and
  2. I need to help renew my mind so that it defaults to fruit. I have gotten my mind to “default” to the Word to sustain me and now I need to retrain this “go to” into a fruit thang.

Okay, Rhonda, again… sorry for not calling back but turns out it was really good for ME to have to sit down and sort of hash this out! Haha! And well, it IS all about me, right?!!? Haha! Either way, this post is for you!!!

Update: Rhonda texted me a couple days after this post to let me know that she had lost 7 pounds but was gonna stay off the scale for the next month and a half! Blessings and peace to Rhonda!